LONDON (Reuters) – British scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore an organ in a living animal, a discovery they say may pave the way for similar techniques to be used in humans in future.
The University of Edinburgh team rebuilt the thymus – an organ central to the immune system and found in front of the heart – of very old mice by reactivating a natural mechanism that gets shut down with age.
LONDON (Reuters) – The party drug ketamine could one day be used to help some people suffering from severe depression, according to British scientists who gave infusions of the narcotic nicknamed “special K” to patients.
Researchers who tested the drug on 28 people with major depressive disorder found ketamine quickly helped relieve the condition for some – and made a number of them completely well again for up to several weeks.
LONDON (Reuters) – Men who start smoking before the age of 11 risk having sons who are overweight, British researchers have found, adding to evidence that lifestyle factors even in childhood can affect the health of future offspring.
The scientists said the findings, part of ongoing work in a larger “Children of the 90s” study, could indicate that exposure to tobacco smoke before the start of puberty in men may lead to metabolic changes in the next generation.
LONDON (Reuters) – Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 percent, according to new research from the United States and Europe.
A study in The Lancet medical journal found that while the impact of anti-smoking laws varies between countries, the overall effect on child health around the world is positive.
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – Almost 40 years after the Ebola
virus was identified in humans by scientists in a microbiology
laboratory in Belgium, pharmaceutical researchers have yet to
develop an effective drug or vaccine to fight it.
Part of the problem is that the deadly virus is rare and its
victims are often poor people living in rural areas of Africa
without well-functioning health systems. But there is also
little incentive for major pharmaceutical companies to invest in
medical solutions when there is little chance of a return.
LONDON (Reuters) – A large international team of scientists has built the clearest picture yet of how human genes are regulated in the vast array of cell types in the body – work that should help researchers target genes linked to disease.
In two major studies published in the journal Nature, the consortium mapped how a network of switches, built into human DNA, controls where and when genes are turned on and off.
LONDON (Reuters) – Peter Piot was 27, newly qualified and working in a microbiology lab in Antwerp when he received a flask of human blood contaminated with a mysterious pathogen that had been killing people in the forests of Zaire.
If he’d known then what he was to discover – that inside was Ebola, one of the most lethal infectious diseases now known in humans – he would have taken more safety precautions.
LONDON (Reuters) – Air pollution killed about 7 million people in 2012, making it the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
The toll, a doubling of previous estimates, means one in eight of all global deaths in 2012 was linked to polluted air and shows how reducing pollution inside and outside of people’s homes could save millions of lives in future, the United Nations health agency said.
LONDON (Reuters) – Half a million people fell sick with dangerous superbug strains of tuberculosis (TB) in 2012, but fewer than one in four were diagnosed, putting the rest at risk of dying due to the wrong medicines or no treatment at all.
Latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which says drug-resistant TB is a “global health security risk”, showed a third of the estimated 9 million people who contract TB in any form each year do not get the care they need.
LONDON (Reuters) – Cases of tuberculosis are falling in Europe but a failure to properly diagnose and treat dangerous drug-resistant strains of the contagious disease means it is far from under control, health experts said on Tuesday.
Every day, almost 1,000 people across the 53 countries of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European region fall sick with TB, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB pose a serious risk to the goal of eliminating it by 2050, the experts said.